September 15, 2014

The end of summer at Lakeside Gardens on Salt Spring Island

It was the last week of August. Why not go to St Mary Lake? To our retreat in Cabin  No. 7 at Lakeside Gardens? So we did. Sort of a last minute thing.

Because the resort was full (little wonder being the last week before Labour Day and the summer weather remaining fantastic), we started out in No. 12. The cabin actually seemed bigger than No. 7, and the bed, if we can call it a bed, felt almost more comfortable. Obviously there was nothing wrong with No. 12, though it wasn't No. 7; indeed, it was nice to have a new perspective.

The light on the lake still danced at sunset and the geese still used the diving float as their own personal sunning deck. Everything was the same, yet everything was different too. It's amazing what a difference ten metres can make, or a number on a cabin perhaps.

After two nights we were able to move into No. 7. Harmony was restored to the universe once again.

People return again and again to Lakeside Gardens. Children of original visitors are now returning with their children and the amazing discovery of almost camping continues for yet another generation.

The days slow down here, and nights are filled with stars never seen in a city. People fish and paddle and swim. Or contemplate.

There is something magicall about this place. For me that moment of discovery was five years ago and the first morning after arriving late the night before, in the dark, to look out at the lake from the small window at the head of the bed as the sun came up. Then to walk in the early morning quiet before anyone else was awake, and long before the smell of frying bacon filled the air.

In the end it doesn't matter much the number on the cabin. There is a gentleness here, a peace that comforts, awakens and refreshes. We should all be so lucky to find that peace, and to be able to return again and again.

Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2014.

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